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Jams, Sauces and Preserves

Apricot and Walnut Paste


500 grams apricots - stones and all

200 grams walnuts, chopped

500 grams sugar or honey


Boil all ingredients together - there is no need to add water as long as you stir madly - till a little sets firm in cold water. Take off the heat, spread onto a greased tray.  Cook in the oven on as cool a setting as you can till the top is dry to touch and springs back when you press it. Cut into slices, wrap each one in greaseproof paper and store in a sealed jar.

Honey Sauce

(For icecream)

1 cup water, half cup honey, 2 tbsps butter, 1 tsp orange, lime, mandarin or lemon zest, 1 tbsp corn flour.

Mix cornflour with water. Add other ingredients. Simmer till it's smooth and thick, stirring all the time. Serve hot or cold.

Honey butter

Mix equal amounts of honey and butter. Store in the fridge. Keep as long as you would keep plain butter.

Stewed Pears


A lot of pears
Red/White Wine




Cover pears in 1 part water to 3 parts red or white wine or cider or port or non alcoholic sparkling cider. (All of course give a different result).  You can add a few cloves or bit of cinnamon bark if you like - I prefer the pure taste of fruit with  fruit. Either simmer gently on top of the stove or bake in the oven with the lid off till the pears are soft. Serve hot or cold.

P.S. The longer and slower you simmer or bake, the richer and more syrupy the juice becomes.

Marmalade Honey

1 cup sliced citrus

2 cups honey


Heat both together till honey is runny. Take off the heat. Leave for an hour. Reheat; strain when honey is runny. Pour the still runny honey into a jar. (Honey will thicken as it cools). Keep honey in the fridge.


Note: this honey will be runnier than it was before the citrus was added. It should last at least several weeks, and hopefully longer.

Tiny Onions in Mango Chutney


A variation on sweet and sour onions.


Pick your onions young and sweet; peel them; drip some olive oil in a pan and cook the onions slowly and carefully for ten minutes, till they are almost transparent, then add a good dollop of mango chutney, keep cooking slowly and stirring often till they are thick and sticky. Serve hot.

Kiwi fruit chutney


2 kg peeled chopped kiwi fruit

6 cloves garlic, chopped

350 gms sugar

300ml white wine vinegar

1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

1 small chilli, chopped

2 teaspoons allspice

Simmer till thick; stir well and often. Bottle in sterilised containers. Good with curry. Lillypilly Cordial

2 cups fruit

juice of 1 large lemon

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons tartaric acid

Stew fruit till soft. Push through a sieve. Replace liquid in pan; add sugar and lemon ; simmer 10 minutes. Take off heat; stir in tartaric acid. Bottle and seal at once. Keep for up to a month in a cool place. Discard if it bubbles, changes colour or grows anything odd.

Honey and walnut butter

Mix half a cup ground walnuts with half a cup butter and half a cup honey. Store in the fridge for as long as you would keep the butter.

Honey and walnut cream

Half cup honey

Half cup cream

1 tb butter

Quarter cup ground walnuts


Simmer five minutes; bottle; keep in the fridge for a week-or possibly more, but do check it hasn't gone off. This cream will thicken as it cools. Great with icecream as well as on toast, scones etc.

Sweet and Sour Zuchinni Pickles

2 kg zuchinni, sliced

6 cups white vinegar

1 cup sugar

1 small red chilli

2 tb yellow mustard seeds

2 tb black mustard seeds

1 tb black peppercorns

1tsp tumeric

1 very large or two medium onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

3 whole cloves

Boil everything except zuchinni for five minutes; add the zuchinni; boil 1 minute; bottle at once.

Seal; keep in a cool place; eat after three days but better after a week or two; throw out of they look or smell odd or cloudy; keep the jar in the fridge when opened.

NB make sure the zuchinni are quite covered at all times in the jar by the sweet vinegar mixture.

Ginger pumpkin

This is an old colonial standby.

Chop your pumpkin into neat slices; sprinkle with salt and leave overnight.

Pour off the juice.


Add a syrup of:

two cups sugar to one cup of water a dessertspoon of grated ginger, or powdered ginger.


Boil for an hour, pour over the pumpkin, leave till cold.

Pour off the syrup and repeat at least six times. The pumpkin should look as though it is starting to candy and change colour with the repeated applications of boiling syrup.

Put the lot in the oven till the pumpkin is cooked.

The outside will still be crunchy due to its crystalising but the inside will be soft.

Place in clean jars while hot with a shaving of lemon zest. Seal. Keep in a cool, dark place. Do not use if they look moist, mouldy or smell odd.

Cumquats or Calamondins in syrup


You'll need:






Simmer cumquats till tender.

Pour off water. Add 1 cup of sugar and half a cup of water for each cup of fruit. Simmer till a little juice sets like a soft jelly when dabbed on a saucer.

Bottle at once. Seal. Great with ice cream or to decorate cakes.

 Pickled Nasturtium Pods that Taste Like Capers

Place the unopened pods in a jar.

Boil together:

two cups of vinegar

two tablespoons of salt

 one tablespoon of peppercorns, one teaspoon of brown sugar and a few juniper berries if you have them. Pour the hot vinegar over the capers, seal at once.

Keep for at least three months in a cool pace before opening them.
Note: Use tiny bottles if possible, unless you are very fond of capers.

Sugarless Jam

You'll need:

500 gm apples, or half apples and half berries

2-4 tbsps chopped cooked ginger, optional

Juice of two large lemons

Half tsp tartaric acid

2 tb Jamsetta (from supermarket)

1 tb liquid sweetener optional: may not need it!



Cook all except Jamsetta and sweetener till it goes glop glop and it very thick.

Add Jamsetta and sweetener to taste cook another two minutes then pour into sterilised jars.

Keep in a cool place or the fridge- this jam doesn’t keep very well as it has no added sugar.

Apple and Quince Sauce

You'll need:

1 large quince

3 tbsp sugar

6 apples

grated rind of an orange and a lemon

a bottle of cider



Simmer all ingredients till thick. Bottle and seal. This can be used as a jam or chutney or eaten with pancakes or cream.

Rose Honey

Heat 1 cup honey till runny; add 1 cup fragrant rose petals, white bit cut off. Leave with lid on for two hours. Heat with lid on till runny; strain; bottle- or repeat with more petals if it's not fragrant enough.

Grenadine Syrup from Pomegranates

Place equal amounts of sugar and seeds in a bowl; leave overnight; boil for five minutes;

strain..and there you are.

You can use grenadine syrup just like red cordial; or add it to orange juice to make a Welcome Sunrise... add a dash of tequila to the granadine and orange juice and you've got one of the famous Tequila Sunrises.

Chokoes that taste like pears


You'll need:

3 chokes (peeled, cored and quartered)

3 cups sugar

1 cup water

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Vanilla bean



Mix all the uingredients in a saucepan.

Simmer the chokoes till tender

Remove the vanilla bean and take off heat as soon as the chokoes are cooked.

 Bottle the chokoes in the syrup, seal.

RosE HIP Syrup

This is high in vitamin C and was the traditional 'spoonful of medicine' to keep children healthy over winter. The less you cook your syrup, the fewer vitamins will be lost.


You'll need:

6 cups rose hips

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

Juice of two lemons


Boil the sugar, water and lemon juice for ten minutes, stirring well till the sugar is dissolved.

Chop the rose hips as finely as possible – there is no need to top and tail them or remove the seeds – and place them in a warmed jar, then pour on the boiling syrup.

 Put the lid on the jar at once.

Shake the rose hips in their syrup every day for at least three weeks, then strain, rebottle and store in a cool dark place as they go squishy soon after opening.

Garlic Cream 1


cider vinegar

lavender flowers(optional)

chamomile tea bags


Simmer either 3 chamomile tea bags or 1 cup lavender flowers or both in 1 cup of cider vinegar for twenty minutes. Cool. Add 6 peeled cloves of garlic.  Whizz in the blender. Keep in a sealed jar in the fridge. Apply a light smear to pimples. (or to chook's legs- live ones- for scaly leg, or to bulbs to hasten flowering).


Garlic Cream 2


virgin olive oil



lemon juice or natural yoghurt

salt: optional

red chillies: optional

Smear olive oil lavishly on baking pan. Turn the oven up to highest setting. Peel spuds and garlic; chop spuds into squares about twice the size of the garlic cloves. Scatter both on the baking pan, with a fair amount of space between each piece or they won't brown. Turn them around a few times so they are oily. Place in oven. Turn heat down to 200C after 10 minutes. Leave till spuds are slightly browned and soft.

Serve hot cold or tepid  with a touch of lemon juice or tossed in the yoghurt. A little finely chopped red chilli can be added to either dish.

pickled crap Apples


You'll need:

2 kg crab apples
7 cups white or cider vinegar
7 cups brown sugar or clear honey
1 tablespoon cloves
1 tablespoon cinnamon


Leave the stalks on the crab apples. Prick each one a few times with a fork.

Boil the other ingredients for ten minutes.

Add a few crab apples at a time, and boil till tender.

Take them out, place them in a bottle and add more to the syrup until all are cooked.

Boil the remaining syrup for five minutes and pour it over the fruit. Seal at once.
The apples should be left like this for at least three months.

Eat them instead of olives or add them puréed to whipped cream for a crab-apple fool.
Red food-colouring improves the appearance of pickled crab apples; add a few drops if you like.



You'll need:

1 kilo apples (any variety, including crab apples, but red-skinned ones give a clear red jelly)
white sugar



Slice but don't core or peel apples. Cover with water. Simmer till soft. Strain – I bung mine through a strainer, then pour that juice through a clean old stocking – the more finely you strain out the pulp, the clearer your jelly will be.

For every cup of juice add 1 cup of sugar. Simmer, stirring often, till a little dabbed on a cold saucer turns into jelly. Pour into clean jars at once and seal.


Blackberry and apple jelly:

Replace half the apples with blackberries, or loganberries, mulberries or raspberries etc.

Rose petal, lemon leaf, mint or other herb jellies:  

Add mint leaves, rose petals, scented geranium/pelargonium leaves, lemon or lime leaves, lemon grass stems, a few dried cloves, hunks of fresh ginger root etc to the final stage of jelly simmering.

Use a slotted spoon to hoik them out before you pour it into jars.

This technique will give you exquisite and very interesting jellies – the savoury ones are good with cold meat, the sweet ones stunning with scones et al.


You'll need:


1kg chopped, peeled kiwifruit

1kg sugar

Juice of 3 lemons

optional: grated rind of 2 oranges and 2 lemons (makes a marmalade like jam)


Leave ingredients in a bowl overnight.

Press well to extract all the juice.

Boil till a spoonful  turns jam-like in a cool saucer.

(By this stage it will be glopping like a volcano, but won't have turned dark, if it's dark it's overcooked.)


Sauce eglantine

This was one of Queen Victoria's favourites.



6 cups of rose hips in as little water as possible.

Press through a sieve.


1 cup white sugar and the juice of three lemons.

Simmer till thick. Serve with roast mutton or any fried food

Rose Petal Jam

You'll need:

-4 cups deep red, scented rose petals, free of pesticide, fungicide and beetles. (Trim off white ends – they’re bitter)

-2 cups white sugar

-4 tbsp lemon juice

-2 cups water



Place petals and sugar in the blender.

Whizz till rose petals are finely chopped.

Leave overnight. The mixture will be damp or sludgy.

Add lemon juice and water. S

immer till a little sets on a cool saucer.

Pour into clean warm jars. Seal at once.

Rose Petal Jam

You'll need:

-4 cups deep red, scented rose petals, free of pesticide, fungicide and beetles. (Trim off white ends – they’re bitter)

-2 cups white sugar

-4 tbsp lemon juice

-2 cups water



Place petals and sugar in the blender.

Whizz till rose petals are finely chopped.

Leave overnight. The mixture will be damp or sludgy.

Add lemon juice and water. S

immer till a little sets on a cool saucer.

Pour into clean warm jars. Seal at once.

Lime and Choko Marmalade 

You'll need:

12 chokos
Juice of 6 limes (or 4 lemons if you can't get limes)
1.75 kg sugar
1 cup water
1 dessertspoon preserved ginger (this can be left out if you absolutely hate ginger)
Grated rind of two limes or one lemon


Peel and chop the chokos; sprinkle with the lime juice and a cup of sugar.

Leave overnight.

Now place in a pan with the water, ginger and rind, simmer till the sugar dissolves, boil for an hour and a half. Add the rest of the sugar, stir till it dissolves, boil rapidly until a little sets in cold water. This takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

Bottle and seal when cold.
This really isn't just a way of using up a choko glut - it's good.

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